By the grace of God, we cannot quite pull it off. In the quiet moments of the day we sense a nagging within, a discontentment, a hunger for something else. But because we have not solved the riddle of our existence, we assume that something is wrong—not with life, but with us. Everyone else seems to be getting on with things. What's wrong with me? We feel guilty about our chronic disappointment. Why can't I just learn to be happier in my job, in my marriage, in my church, in my group of friends? You see, even while we are doing other things, "getting on with life," we still have an eye out for the life we secretly want. When someone seems to have gotten it together, we wonder, How did he do it? Maybe if we read the same book, spent time with him, went to his church, things would come together for us as well. You see, we can never entirely give up our quest. Gerald May reminds us,
When the desire is too much to bear, we often bury it beneath frenzied thoughts and activities or escape it by dulling our immediate consciousness of living. It is possible to run away from the desire for years, even decades, at a time, but we cannot eradicate it entirely. It keeps touching us in little glimpses and hints in our dreams, our hopes, our unguarded moments. (The Awakened Heart)
He says that even though we sleep, our desire does not. "It is who we are." We are desire. It is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize. The same old thing is not enough. It never will be.